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I wanted to tell you about being a joyful giver. I think that when you have a heart for giving, these stories, like the one I am about to share with you, always call to you. In church a few weeks back, we heard the story of a child that kept wanting to give: give her money, give her toys, give her things… Finally, her parents let her, because she was a JOYFUL GIVER. A joyful giver is someone that takes joy in giving.
That was when it dawned on Mickey and I that Ethan, our 6 year old, was a joyful giver, too.
He was always offering things to me. If something broke, he would give me change from his piggy bank to fix it. If I was sad, he was bringing me his favorite toy. Day in and day out, I refused his things and said “No, honey. Those are your things”. I thought that I was doing the right thing.
After hearing the whole story in church, I realize that I was doing just the opposite. I was taking away his WANT and his NEED to give. He wanted to help. He has a heart to help, and I wasn’t letting him. In twenty years, after hearing “no, you keep it” so much from me, would he still want to give? Would he still want to help?
I started letting Ethan give (even though I secretly put money back into his piggy bank while he slept… shh…) I let him help. I kept his toys on my dresser to show him that I appreciated the gift he gave me. I wore his favorite hat around the house to show him that I loved that he wanted to give it to me. I let him give joyfully and watched him beam with happiness when he saw me using what he gave.
My friend, Kristen Welch of We are THAT family, is another joyful giver. Last year, she wrote something that has changed me:
“More than a year ago, God dropped an idea in my heart.
I had this crazy – overwhelming, overpowering desire to empower women all over the world with opportunity and employment in the name of Jesus.
And I had no idea what that meant.
I had more questions than answers.
But I wasn’t able to shake this truth: While it’s often easy to give people in poverty what they need; it’s empowering to help them meet their own needs.
They don’t need more charity. They need more opportunity.
The two homes in Kenya that Mercy House supports are full with mothers, mothers-to-be, babies and toddlers. It’s a wonderful kind of hard when we are at capacity. It means we are helping, but it also means there are others hurting.
There is a heartbreaking slum at the base of the mountain from our beautiful new home. And now every Friday, the Mercy House staff is taking mercy to 12 new young single moms who live less than a mile from our organization. They are being introduced to God, they are learning skills and they are finding hope.
And on the other side of the world, at the same time, in a small, packed room, the same thing is happening with displaced refugee moms.
And it’s happening in Ethiopia, India…
Have you ever felt so passionate about something that it scares you?
This is it for me.
So, when Kristen told me about Fair Trade Friday, I was immediately intrigued.
So… What is Fair Trade Friday?
An affordable subscription-based club that delivers a box of beautiful fair trade product created by women we support, delivered by the first Friday of every month! Check out the options.
They tackle poverty through job opportunity. 100% of the proceeds support the hundreds of women and children artisans.
It is $30 or $60 a month and while you end up with beautiful things, you are giving them basic needs: food for their children. Clothing for themselves. You are literally helping them to LIVE.
Here are a few things that came in my most recent box (necklace, earnings, journal, bracelets):
The journal was one that I wanted for my friend and it made the most beautiful gift. The jewelry items were gorgeous and I have been wearing them daily.
Think of it like Stitchfix or Birchbox, but this one changes the world.
You can join today! Give yourself the gift of beauty, give these young women the gift of life… and give YOUR children the gift of leading by your example:
(Sorry, this is limited to the USA only).